News In Brief
Batman rescues his career
Batman has put his racing career back on track after misbehaving during the New Zealand Cup Carnival.
The Falkirk eight-year-old put on a rodeo display after leaving the barriers during his open sprint assignment on the last day of Cup week. He made contact with Volcano and severely hampered another runner, Dynamic, and continued to buck, losing all chance.
As a result of his antics, Batman had to trial to the satisfaction of a Stipendiary Steward and he did so at the Rangiora trials last Tuesday.
With Krishna Mudhoo taking over from apprentice Kin Kwo, Batman did everything right in his open 1000m heat and won by a half-length.
“I’m not sure where to go now with him,” trainer Neil Ridley said. “It will either be to Cromwell on Sunday or wait until Riccarton the following Friday.
“He trialled well and hopefully it won’t happen again, but it’s not the first time he’s done it. Apparently he did it a few times up north and he had a bit of a go at Ashburton last month.”
Batman attempted to buck passing the 1000 metres in his 1200-metre Ashburton race in which he finished fourth to Flying Ibis, but showed better manners next start in the Gr.3 Stewards Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton.
Quieter week for leading trainers
Top trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman had a busy time with runners last week, but are easing off the accelerator this week.
“We had a lot of runners and had a good week so it’ll be good to be a bit quieter this week,” Forsman said.
“We won’t have as many runners, but we’ll have some good chances.”
The partners picked up three wins at Pukekohe last Saturday with Mongolian Legend, Love Affair and Maygrove (Gr.3 Ssangyong Counties Cup), as well as significant black-type placings with Francaletta and Coldplay when second and third respectively in the Gr.2 NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1400m). And last Sunday Capucine chimed in with a debut win.
The stable’s main mission this weekend will be the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki on Friday with the promising Karisto.
The son of Written Tycoon has had five starts for a win and four placings. He cleared maiden ranks two starts ago over 1400 metres at Te Rapa after three second placings and stepped up to Rating 65 with a solid third over the same course and distance.
“That was a good run last time and he wasn’t beaten by much,” Forsman said. “He should be a good chance on Friday.”
Baker and Forsman are going into the week’s racing with a clear lead on the New Zealand Trainers’ Premiership. They have 37 wins, nine more than their nearest rivals, Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.
Vile dancing for the money
Awapuni trainer Gary Vile believes it’s now time to again put Dance For Money to the black-type test.
He plans to start the Showcasing filly in Friday’s Gr.3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki on the strength of her last-start second behind Seraphim over 1550m at Awapuni earlier this month.
“That was a good run against the older horses and she will have no problem with the 1600 metres,” Vile said. “I’ve always rated her. She’s up to it.”
Dance For Money has won one of her five starts and been placed on two occasions with both her unplaced efforts being in previous black-type assignments.
“I made the mistake of putting her first-up in the Gold Trail when she was not ready for it,” Vile said. “She’s more ready for this one.”
To keep Dance For Money up to the mark since her runner-up finish, Vile gave her a trial at Foxton last Tuesday and she finished second behind Casaquinman.